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Arrest made 5 years after young Texas mother's body found in trunk of burning car

The body of 21-year-old Lorraine Diaz was found in Richmond in 2017. Five years later, her boyfriend, Johnny Minh Dang, has been charged with murder.

HOUSTON — Investigators in Fort Bend County say they have a major break in the investigation into the the killing of a Houston woman found shot to death in the trunk of a burning car more than five years ago.

It was back on January 11, 2017, that deputies were sent to that burning car on FM 762 just behind George Ranch High School. Once they put out the fire, they found the body of a woman in the trunk who was later identified as Lorraine Diaz, a 21-year-old mother of two.

“Her mother described her as a very quiet person, very sweet. She was the mother of two children, just trying to find her way and make her life," FBCSO Detective Scott Minyard said.

 An autopsy determined Diaz had been shot and killed.

“This was an especially brutal murder of a young woman,” Minyard said.

Diaz's boyfriend, 33-year-old Johnny Minh Dang of Richmond, was considered a prime suspect in Diaz’s death early on, FBCSO said. 

Credit: FBCSO
Johnny Minh Dang, 33, is charged with murder in the 2017 death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Lorraine Diaz.

“We like to say, 'we know what we know, but what can we prove?'" Minyard said.

At the time. there wasn't enough evidence to charge him with the crime.

RELATED: $10,000 reward offered after woman found dead in burning car

“You just have a car out in the middle of Fort Bend County, in the country, that’s on fire. You can’t get fingerprints, you can’t get DNA, all the normal things you might get from a crime scene," Minyard explained.

Detectives didn't give up and they reopened the cold case with help from the Texas Rangers. New information led to a first-degree murder charge against Dang last month.

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force arrested Dang on November 29 and he remains in custody at the Fort Bend County Jail on a $500,000 bond. 

“Our detectives and our Texas Ranger partners worked tirelessly to solve this cold case,” said Sheriff Eric Fagan. “They never gave up, and their persistence ultimately led up to identifying and arresting the suspect of this heinous crime.”

Investigators said more charges are expected.  

We're following this story on KHOU 11 News today.  Check back for updates.

Lorraine Diaz Homicide Cold Case Solved Nearly Six Years After Her Death A six-year-old cold case involving the...

Posted by Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, December 8, 2022

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